Generalized pain, fibromyalgia and regional pain: an epidemiological view

Baillieres Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol. 1999 Sep;13(3):403-14. doi: 10.1053/berh.1999.0029.


Generalized pain, which is one component of the fibromyalgia syndrome, is a common and disabling problem in the general population. Pain at individual sites, such as the lower back and shoulder, has traditionally been considered distinct from generalized pain and studied separately. This chapter considers first the basic definition and distribution of widespread pain in the population, and second examines the evidence as to whether widespread and regional pain are truly or usefully distinguished.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease
  • Fibromyalgia / epidemiology*
  • Fibromyalgia / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Pain / epidemiology*
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pain / psychology
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Social Class